While all modern homes are designed with balanced plumbing systems, it is essential to be aware of the dangers of water pressure that is too high. Not only can high water pressure lead to burst pipes and water damage, but it can also affect warranties on household appliances.
Even if you employ the most reliable plumbers in Melbourne, wear and tear can lead to leaks in the very best systems. This is why we at Precision Electrical and Plumbing recommend that homeowners have their water pressure checked regularly.
You can usually identify high water pressure problems from leaks in plumbing pipe work. For instance you might hear a pipe dripping water at night, or the water in your toilet system may run even when the toilet is not in use. If ignored the situation will gradually get worse and worse.
Understanding High Water Pressure
Water pressure is the strength of the flow of water in your pipes, measured either in kilopascals (kPa) or PSI (pounds per inch). It is this pressure – or force – that determines the kind of water flow you get out of your taps. If the pressure is too low, your tap, toilets and shower aren’t going to work properly.
Municipalities provide water for houses, and to meet the Australian Standards, the pressure should be 500 kPa. But the water supply itself is considerably higher, usually between 800 and 1,000 kPa so that it can be used for fire hydrants, multi-storey buildings, and for cluster housing where there is a high volume of homes. Plumbers tap into the water mains via a communication pipe, and then install much smaller diameter pipe work to deliver water to domestic homes. This is part of the process that will ensure your water pressure doesn’t rise above the mandated 500 kPa. But be warned that even when the pressure is set to standard, at night it often increases, because fewer people are using water in the area. This explains why leakages often happen overnight.
Very high water pressure can also be caused by thermal expansion when water is heated.
Steps to Take to Control High Water Pressure
It is vital that the water pressure in your home stays within the optimal operating range. If it is too high, Precision Electrical and Plumbing will install a valve at the water meter that will control the pressure from this point. Pressure limiting valves will also ensure that the pressure from the municipal water supply is reduced in keeping with the standards. Ideally a PLV should be positioned at the water meter so that it protects the entire supply line into the house and garden. In any case, the Standards require that any valves that either limit or reduce pressure must be located where it is easy to get to the valve for maintenance or to replace it if it wears out.
Qualified and registered plumbers in Melbourne will be familiar with the requirements of the Standards. They will also know that devices used to reduce pressure may not be buried under ground and that they must be protected from any dangers of freezing in winter.
Remember when you are looking for plumbers in Melbourne to ensure that they are licensed in terms of the Plumbers Licensing and Plumbing Standards. Precision Electrical and Plumbing is licensed and our team has regular training to ensure we all stay abreast of changing technology.